August 2, 2013

Dolmabache palace and Galeta tower

Dolmabache palace was first on the list for the second full day with Galeta tower on the secondary. Apparently is was a pretty common itinerary so once again, I met someone over breakfast. Sarah and Stella from South Korea had seen the palace in their tour books and wanted to go straight away so having seen it from the tour boat the day before, who better ot act as a guide to the relativly distant attraction. It was pretty easy, simply taking the 3 lira tram from outside the hostel down to the stop not more than 400m from the palace.

Sarah and Stella from South Korea. Dolmabache palace, lunch salad hunt, Galeta tower, grand bazar, shoe fail, Start of Contiki
In some of the rooms, it was absolutely comparable to Versailles. The plaster reliefs combined with the scale seen in Ottoman mosques fused into a pretty incredible place. The crystal chandeliers and candelabras were of particular note with the one in the picture weighing in at 4.5 tonnes! They were pretty hostile to photos but I couldn't go past the celebration room which just blew all of us away with it's size and grandure.

Next to Galeta tower, gazing over the whole city. We did a little bit of lunch hunting first and shattered our conception that it was quite difficult to eat cheaply in Istanbul. We ended up finding a generous self serve salad place for 6 lira! The tower gave an absolutely incredible view and we spent ages taking all out selfies and panoramas.

Walking back past the pushy restraunters under the Galeta bridge was a little difficult with one actually grabbing my arm for a while so he could make his pitch. We got through and soon found ourselves in the spice markets and grand bazaar. With not much time, we breezed through until disaster struck! My throngs died... With a bit of medical tape, a swiss army knife and some engineering know how we were back on the road and at Cheers again in no time.

I said my farewells to the Korean girls and Melissa who had been out on a package tour and made my way to the tram station ready to get to the meeting point for my Contiki tour.

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